Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren Friday directed to seize all excavator machines which are being used for the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) works in the state.
In a video conferencing meeting with all Deputy Commissioners (DCs), the CM directed that the seized machines be kept at the police stations for a month and warned that if found to be used again, they will be confiscated for three and six months. He added that such complaints were on rise from Deoghar and Dhanbad districts.
The directions come after the Rural Development Department terminated the contract of 14 people in Chatra district of Jharkhand citing irregularities in implementation MGNREGA works. The Indian Express had reported that in one block machines were used in the creation of ponds under NREGA instead of mannual labour using fake muster rolls.
The CM said to add as many people in work under various schemes and remove the middlemen who have the job cards of all the labourers. “Providing employment for rural people is the priority of the government. Identify all workers in the block as well as panchayat levels and provide them jobs,” Soren told all DCs. He added that the aim is to provide jobs to 300 people per panchayat per day.
He added that during monsoons many such jobs would be temporarily suspended and that the DCs should create a work order accordingly in priority basis. He also said: “Identify all skilled workers so that they can be added to the industries, constructions among other sectors. “
The CM emphasised that no one should die out of hunger in the state. “Every DCs should ensure this. If this happened then it will be ‘sharmanaak (shameful)’ and ‘dardnaak (painful)’. We all have to fulfil our duty honestly,” he said.
Interestingly, the Soren government had earlier denied any ‘hunger deaths’ in the state in response to a question in the Jharkhand assembly.
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